AP Wire Michigan Sports

Michigan Wolverines men’s basketball team gets by Purdue with ease, 70-53

AP Sports Writer
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Isaiah Livers matched his season high with 22 points, Eli Brooks added 11 and No. 7 Michigan relied on a staunch defense to beat Purdue 70-53 on Friday night.
The Wolverines (13-1, 8-1 Big Ten) maintained their stranglehold on the conference lead by winning their fifth straight in the series.
Trevion Williams had 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Boilermakers, who never led as their four-game winning streak came to an end. Purdue (11-6, 5-4) played without guard Sasha Stefanovic, its top 3-point shooter, after he tested positive for COVID-19.
Michigan took full advantage of absence by limiting Purdue to 32.1% shooting and shutting out the Boilermakers from 3-point range in the first half as they took a 34-21 lead.
Purdue made its first two 3s in the second half and cut the deficit to 42-32 with 14:58 to play. But the Wolverines answered with six straight points.

Michigan forward Brandon Johns Jr., right, goes up to block the shot of Purdue guard Isaiah Thompson, lower left, in West Lafayette, Ind., on Friday. (AP photo)

Michigan: Yes, the Wolverines have one of the nation’s highest-scoring offenses. But when Michigan’s shooters have an off-night, their defense is equally impressive. It’s a combination few teams possess, which is why the Wolverines could be a legitimate Final Four contender.

AP Wire Michigan Sports

Detroit Pistons’ last-second shot comes too late as Houston Rockets prevail, 103-102

AP Sports Writer
DETROIT — Jerami Grant’s driving layup on the final play came too late, and the Houston Rockets held on for a 103-102 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Friday night.
Down one with 3.4 seconds remaining, the Pistons inbounded to Grant, who faked a handoff to Blake Griffin and then drove down the right side of the lane. Time clearly ran out before he laid the ball in, but he was also bumped by Houston’s P.J. Tucker.
Replays showed that contact also came after time expired, and after a review, the game ended with the Rockets holding on.
Grant scored 21 points for Detroit, which rallied from a 20-point second-quarter deficit and nearly erased a four-point gap late in the fourth. Griffin’s 3-pointer with 29.9 seconds remaining made it 103-102, and the Pistons stopped Houston at the other end to set up Grant’s final bid.
Eric Gordon scored 20 points for Houston, which snapped a three-game losing streak. The Rockets were without John Wall and Christian Wood.
It was an ugly first quarter for the Pistons, who turned the ball over nine times and trailed 34-21 at the end of the period. David Nwaba’s layup put Houston up 43-23 in the second.
The Pistons, however, have been a bit more competitive this season than their league-worst 3-12 record suggests. They chipped away at the deficit and trailed 55-47 at halftime despite the fact that Griffin hadn’t scored yet.
Grant’s 3-pointer put the Pistons ahead in the third, and they finished the quarter leading 81-77.

Houston Rockets forward P.J. Tucker, left, grabs a rebound as he gets tangled up with Pistons center Mason Plumlee during the second half of Friday in Detroit. (AP photo)
AP Wire Michigan Sports

Dan Campbell makes intense, emotional introduction as Detroit Lions’ head coach

AP Sports Writer
Dan Campbell is emphatic

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell speaks during a news conference via video on his first day at the team’s practice facility on Thursday in Allen Park. (Detroit Lions via AP)

about the hard times people have had in Detroit, in their lives and as fans of the Lions.
And, the new coach of the long-suffering franchise is fired up for an opportunity to help the NFL team and people in the Motor City.
“We need to bring some hope back into this place,” Campbell said Thursday, a day after he signed a six-year contract with the Lions and general manger Brad Holmes was formally introduced.
Despair, though, is a common emotion for followers of a franchise with 13 double-digit loss seasons since 2001 and only one playoff victory since winning the NFL title in 1957.
Campbell, 44, is the latest coach to try to change the conversation about the team.
The former New Orleans Saints tight ends and assistant head coach has 11 years of experience in the NFL as a coach and 11 as a player with Detroit, the New York Giants, Dallas and New Orleans. In 2015, he was 5-7 as interim coach of the Miami Dolphins after taking over a 1-3 team.
Campbell knows the Lions’ woeful history all too well because he played for them for three seasons, including in 2008 when he was injured early in their 0-16 debacle.
He’s the first former player to lead the franchise since Hall of Famer and two-time NFL champion Joe Schmidt was Detroit’s coach from 1967-72.
“I wanted this job — bad — because I felt like I know this community, I played here,” Campbell said in an emotionally charged opening statement that lasted 19 minutes at his virtual news conference. “This place has been kicked, it’s been battered, it’s been bruised.
“I could give you coach-speak all day long. I could give you, `Hey, we’re going to win this many games.’ None of that matters and you guys don’t want to hear it anyway. You’ve had enough of that.”
Campbell went on to say some sensational things as he described how the team will take on Detroit’s identity.
“This city’s been down and it found a way to get up and it has found a way to overcome adversity,” he said. “This team is going to be built on, we’re going to kick you in the teeth. When you punch us back, we’re going to smile at you. And when you knock us down, we’re going to get up and on the way up, we’re going to bite a kneecap off.”
Nearly three months ago, the Lions began searching for a general manger and coach after team owner Sheila Ford Hamp fired Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia. Patricia was 13-29-1 in two-plus seasons as a first-time NFL head coach.

AP Wire Michigan Sports

Head coach Jim Harbaugh adds to Michigan Wolverines football coaching staff

ANN ARBOR (AP) — Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has hired Maurice Linguist and George Helow to be assistants on defense, the latest moves that have reshaped his coaching staff, the coach announced Wednesday.
Harbaugh added that defensive line coach Shaun Nua has agreed on a contract extension and confirmed Brian Jean-Mary will return to coach linebackers.
Harbaugh hired Baltimore Ravens linebacker coach Mike Macdonald as defensive coordinator on Sunday, replacing Don Brown, who is now defensive coordinator for the Arizona Wildcats. Macdonald worked for Harbaugh’s brother, John, with the Ravens.
Linguist was the Dallas Cowboys’ defensive backs coach last season after coaching defensive backs at Texas A&M, Minnesota and Mississippi State. Helow worked at Maryland last year as its special teams coordinator and inside linebackers coach after he was on the defensive staff at Colorado State.

AP Wire Michigan Sports

Detroit Lions sign new head coach Dan Campbell to 6-year deal

AP Sports Writer
The Detroit Lions landed the coach they coveted from the start of their search by hiring Dan Campbell.
The Lions tweeted a photo of the former New Orleans Saints tight ends coach signing his deal Wednesday, one day after the team formally introducing Brad Holmes as their general manager. Campbell signed a six-year contract, according to a person familiar with the situation who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because terms of the deal were not released.
“With more than 20 years of experience as both a coach and player in the National Football League, Dan knows the rigors of professional football and what it takes to be successful,” team owner Sheila Ford Hamp said in a statement. “He will help promote the culture we want to establish across our organization, while also bringing with him high energy, a respect for the game and an identity with which everyone can align themselves.”
While Detroit did make Holmes one of four Black general managers in the NFL and team president Rod Wood thanked Rod Graves of the Fritz Pollard Alliance on Tuesday, the franchise followed a league-wide trend of hiring white head coaches.
The Lions were one of seven teams looking for a head coach during this hiring cycle and so far only the New York Jets did not pick a white man. The Jets hired Robert Saleh, a Northern Michigan University graduate.
Philadelphia and Houston still have an opening for a head coach.
The 44-year-old Campbell, who also had the title of assistant head coach with the Saints, has 11 years of experience in the NFL as a coach and 11 as a player.
He was 5-7 as interim coach of the Miami Dolphins in 2015.
Campbell, who is from Clifton, Texas, was a standout tight end at Texas A&M and was drafted in the third round by the New York Giants in 1999. He had 91 career receptions for 934 yards and 11 touchdowns with the Giants, Dallas, Detroit and New Orleans.
Campbell, who played for the Lions from 2006-08, is the first former player to lead the franchise since Hall of Famer and two-time NFL champion Joe Schmidt was Detroit’s coach from 1967-72.
“Dan’s passion for this opportunity was evident throughout our interview process,” Wood said. “When we began the search for a head coach, it was imperative that we find the right leader who values our commitment to building a winning culture based on organizational alignment and collaboration. The leadership Dan has exemplified throughout his football career has prepared him for this next step, and we are excited to support him as our new head coach.”

Dan Campbell
AP Wire Michigan Sports

Detroit Pistons let big lead slip away, lose in overtime at Atlanta, 123-115

Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin, right, and Hawks center Clint Capela vie for control of the ball during the second half Wednesday in Atlanta. Griffin scored 17 points and pulled in seven rebounds but the Pistons still lost 123-115 in overtime. The Hawks outscored Detroit 24-7 to end regulation to force OT at 106-106. Jerami Grant led the Pistons with 32 points, while Mason Plumlee had nine rebounds to go with 10 points. Atlanta’s Trae Young led all scorers with 38 points to go with his 10 assists. (AP photo)

AP Wire Michigan Sports

High school football finals set for Fox Sports Detroit channels

By Journal Sports Staff
MARQUETTE — Thursday night marks the first of three consecutive days of state championship high school football games to be televised by Fox Sports Detroit and Fox Sports Detroit-Plus.
Most of the schedule was found online at
Thursday’s schedule features the pair of eight-player finals that were played on Saturday at the Legacy Center in Brighton. All four teams entered their state championships with perfect 10-0 records.
Tentatively, the Division 2 game will be first at 8 p.m. It features the only Upper Peninsula team to qualify for a final from the fall season, North Central based out of Powers, against Portland St. Patrick.
The Division 1 game is set to follow at 11 p.m. between Suttons Bay and Adrian Lenawee Christian.
Friday and Saturday feature live coverage of seven of the eight 11-player finals. The eighth game, which is the last game Friday, will be shown several hours after it’s played as FSD and FSD-Plus both have commitments to show the Detroit Pistons and Detroit Red Wings in that time slot.
Each day’s coverage begins at 10 a.m.
All four of Friday’s games are on Fox Sports Detroit, beginning with Ubly playing Centreville in Division 8 in the morning spot, followed by Muskegon Mona Shores vs. Warren De La Salle in Division 2 at 1 p.m., then Montague vs. Clinton in Division 6 at 4:30 p.m.
The last game Friday, Cadillac vs. Detroit Country Day in Division 4, will be televised at 11 p.m., though the game start is scheduled a few hours earlier.
On Saturday, all four games will be shown live, split between Fox Sports Detroit and Fox Sports Detroit-Plus. On Fox Sports Detroit at 10 a.m. in Division 7, Traverse City St. Francis faces New Lothrop, then at 1 p.m. in Division 1, it’s Davison and West Bloomfield.
The final two games are on Fox Sports Detroit-Plus. At 4:30 p.m. in Division 5, it’s Frankenmuth vs. Grand Rapids Catholic Central, then at 7:30 p.m. in Division 3, it’s DeWitt vs. River Rouge.
These games will likely be repeated over the coming days and months, though no schedule of specific games was available online.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is

AP Wire Michigan Sports

Detroit Red Wings win in overtime, 3-2, over Columbus

Red Wings defenseman Filip Hronek, right, steals the puck from Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Oliver Bjorkstrand during the first period Tuesday in Detroit. Tyler Bertuzzi scored the game-winner about 15 seconds into the overtime period on an assist from Dylan Larkin to lift the Wings to a 3-2 victory. Teammate Anthony Mantha tied the game 1-1 early in the second period, while Bobby Ryan made it 2-1 about 10 minutes later. Columbus’ Alexandre Texier then retied it 2-2 about five minutes into the third period to set up OT

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Filip Hronek, right, steals the puck from Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Oliver Bjorkstrand during the first period Tuesday in Detroit. (AP photo)

. Detroit evened its record at 2-2 with the victory. (AP photo)

AP Wire Michigan Sports

Miami Heat make big rally pay off with win over Detroit Pistons on Monday, 113-107

AP Basketball Writer
MIAMI — The Miami Heat eventually showed up to a game already behind schedule.
Bam Adebayo had 28 points and 11 rebounds and the short-handed Heat got their biggest comeback win of the season, rallying from 19 down to beat the Detroit Pistons 113-107 on Monday night to snap a three-game slide.
“It was not pretty. It was ugly,” Miami guard Goran Dragic said. “But we’re happy.”
Dragic scored 22 points for the Heat, who got 18 apiece from Duncan Robinson and Kendrick Nunn. Miami was again without Jimmy Butler and Avery Bradley (virus protocols), Tyler Herro (neck) and Meyers Leonard (shoulder).
“In some ways it feels like two wins, just because we are persevering though a lot of different things without feeling sorry for ourselves or making excuses,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “I really commend the way the guys have handled all of this.”
Jerami Grant had 27 points for Detroit, but his layup that could have gotten the Pistons within three was blocked by Adebayo with 31 seconds left. Wayne Ellington made seven 3-pointers and scored 24 for the Pistons, who got 21 from Derrick Rose and 15 from Mason Plumlee.
Detroit’s Blake Griffin was shaken up in the final seconds and limped off the court after the final buzzer. He had five points in 36 minutes.
The game was supposed to start at 3 p.m. Eastern; it started at 8 p.m., delayed by the NBA to allow time for COVID-19 tests to be processed.
“We found out mid-morning when we already had our walkthrough, our breakfast and testing,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. “So, it just changed the time that the bus left. … We can’t even leave the rooms anyway.”
Waiting all day didn’t seem to bother Detroit early.
It was 11-2 when Spoelstra called his first timeout after three minutes, and 12-2 when the timeout ended. A review of a jumper by Ellington showed it was a 3-pointer, not a 2-pointer, and just like that the Pistons were up 10.
Detroit’s lead was 28-9 after 7 minutes following another 3 by Ellington.
The Heat chipped away, briefly held the lead late in the half, and used a 24-10 run to take a 12-point lead early in the fourth.

Heat guard Kendrick Nunn, front right, and center Bam Adebayo attempt to block a pass by Detroit Pistons guard Derrick Rose, left, during the second half Monday in Miami. (AP photo)
AP Wire Michigan Sports

Detroit Lions’ general manager pick Brad Holmes wasn’t on team’s original list

AP Sports Writer
DETROIT — Brad Holmes was not even a candidate when the Detroit Lions began their search for a general manager nearly two months ago.
After a process that included interviewing him and 11 others for the vacancy, Holmes won the Lions over and landed a job he didn’t dream of when his NFL career began as a public relations intern in 2003.
“He stood out to us as the perfect fit,” team owner Sheila Ford Hamp said on a Zoom call with reporters on Tuesday, days after the team agreed to a deal with Holmes.
The Lions love Holmes’ combination of leadership skills, intelligence and personality along with his collaborative approaches.
The Lions are expected to hire New Orleans Saints tight end coach Dan Campbell to be their head coach, perhaps as soon as today, and plan to let him and Holmes work together to make big decisions this offseason.
Choosing to keep or trade quarterback Matthew Stafford along with trying to improve the defense will be their top priorities.
Stafford has two years left on his $135 million, five-year contract.
“It is my job to evaluate the entire roster,” Holmes said. “I have not had any discussions with Matt or any players. I just want to be fair to the process, but obviously, Matt is a very good football player.”
Holmes’ ability to use analytics to project which players will have success in the league, drawing on his 18 years of experience with the Los Angeles Rams, particularly impressed the Lions.
“Definitely cutting edge,” Hamp said. “Definitely different from pretty much what we’ve been doing here.”
The Atlanta Falcons had Holmes as a finalist before hiring Terry Fontenot as general manager on Tuesday. Holmes joins Fontenot, Miami’s Chris Grier and Cleveland’s Andrew Berry as Black general managers in the NFL.
Holmes hopes the league’s commitment to diversity includes hiring practices with positions that assist general managers.
“There’s less than 10 people of color that are at the director of college scouting role,” Holmes said. “There’s less than 10 in the league that are, if you want to call it the assistant GM role, or whatever that No. 2 position is.”
Hamp fired general manager Bob Quinn and coach Matt Patricia in November.
Detroit was 5-11 last season — its 13th season with double digits in losses this century — and has had only one playoff victory since winning the 1957 NFL title.